We move onto the Final of Melodifestivalen 2017. The eight acts who qualified directly to the final were: Ace Wilder, Nano, Mariette, Benjamin Ingrosso, Robin Bengtsson, Owe Thörnqvist, Wiktoria, and Jon Henrik Fjällgren featuring Aninia.
Last week during the Andra Chansen round, we had FO&O vs. De Vet Du, Axel Schylström vs. Lisa Ajax, Boris René vs. Dismissed, and Anton Hagman vs. Loreen. The winners of the duels and who have advanced to the Final were: FO&O, Lisa Ajax, Boris René, and Anton Hagman. The running order of the Final was revealed simultaneously with the results of the Andra Chansen duels.
I have had the opportunity to view Friday night’s dress rehearsal. Here is a short recap and review of all competing entries by running order.
Song #1: “Wild Child” by Ace Wilder
The choreography during the dress rehearsal is very polished and perfect. Vocally, Ace, relies heavily on the allowed recorded backing track, and struggles during the part where it is just her singing in the last minute of the song it almost sounds like she has fallen ill.
Song #2: “Her Kiss” by Boris René
Boris appears to be confident as he stares directly into the camera. It appears that some slow-motion shots have been added in. By slowing down the choreography, it appears to lengthen an already repetitive song.
Song #3: “I Don’t Give A” by Lisa Ajax
Vocally, Lisa performs with much confidence. Lisa performs a censored version of the song. Lyrics include: I don’t give a damn what the others say/Don’t care what they say. The censored words definitely stand out. You can tell it was edited over as the volume levels of the new lyrics and original song do not match. I do not feel that this improved the song, but I don’t think that the original lyrics helped the song either.
Song #4: “I Can’t Go On” by Robin Bengtsson
Robin performed perfectly. It was well-received in the press room. After the performance was over, there were camera shots of some audience members fanning themselves. Robin also changes the explicit lyrics in his song: When you look this freaking beautiful. The replacement words, like Lisa Ajax’s also stands out as it is obviously edited. I think if the “g” is dropped to make it “freakin’” it would flow better with the song.
Song #5: “En värld full av strider” by Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia
Aninia wins most improved for me. Her slow-motion camera shots were executed more gracefully, and her vocal is also something to commend. Jon Henrik, however, is quite the opposite. Something about his performance seems off. He looks nervous after his bit in the beginning with the floor.
Song #6: “Kiss You Goodbye” by Anton Hagman
This one would have to win most disappointing based on the dress rehearsal. His voice broke at numerous times and was out of tune. I feel like Anton performs terribly at rehearsals based on this performance and previous rehearsal videos, yet I did enjoy his song during the live shows. There were heads shaking in the press room as people muttered, “it could have been Loreen.”
Song #7: “A Million Years” by Mariette
I believe this is the most elegantly staged entry in the Final. The slow-motion with the bungee cords create a beautiful effect on screen. Mariette starts off on a bad note on the first line! Throughout the first verse you can tell that throws her off and she sounds nervous. By the middle of the song, she recovers and performs well. No noticeable changes in her performance.
Song #8: “Gotta Thing About You” by FO&O
Generic, typical dancing boyband pop song. The boys sing really loudly tonight, dancing remains the same. I would have liked to hear some variation the vocal arrangement in the last chorus to break up the monotony.
Song #9: “Hold On” by Nano
Nano performs very confidently, and you can see him bobbing along to the music. Camera work seemed off to me. It looks like the cameras were cutting too quickly as the shots between Nano and the dancer seemed disjointed and then also, I saw the camera crew in shots numerous times during the last portion of the song.
Song #10: “As I Lay Me Down” by Wiktoria
Wiktoria starts off the song with more vocal control in a red jumpsuit. Her movements are much smoother, she’s dancing and smiling a lot. Towards the middle of the song she starts to lose her breath. Some noticeable changes visually included: slight color changing of the post-editing flowers to match the flowers on the LED screens, the flowers on the LED bed form a figure of a body laying next to her. The body is a little strange, but fitting. This song was well-received in the press room and the arena.
Song #11: “Good Lovin’” by Benjamin Ingrosso
Improvement in the vocals, it’s not as harsh sounding as it was in the Semi-Final. He appears to be relaxed. Some changes in wardrobe, so he isn’t as color-clashing. The dancers also receive new wardrobe, they match Benjamin, yet clash at the same time. It all blend in together that sort of mute each other. The audience also gave this one an approving cheer.
Song #12: “Boogieman Blues” by Owe Thörnqvist
Owe is having fun. He is feeling the energy and the music. The white sun-shaped special effects need to go. It doesn’t fit with the other on-screen graphics. The music notes work well, but the others not so much.
Hasse Andersson, David Lindgren, and Clara Henry open the show with a song, and David Lindgren sings a love song medley as he works his way through the Green Room. Expect cameos from Frans, Alexander Rybak and Zara Larsson.
The Final of Melodifestivalen will be broadcasted on 11 March 2017 at 8:00 CET on SVT1 and online at SVTPlay.